GRANGER at Halloween for 10/26/16: THE TEAR IN THE WRAPPER

Truth in advertising“, it read.

Image result for coffee and Autumn

Granger was fed up with the glut of political flyers in his mailbox and inboxes.  Tossing on his desk the garishly colored hit piece in yoga pants by a former state senator, he swung around and gazed unfocused out the window at a grayish, cotton-streaked sky with bruise-blue accents.  Chuffing through his nose, he thought, “Even the sky’s puzzled by it all.”

Bemused, he reached for his “Coffee Made Me Do It” mug.  Just before he got it to his mouth, he noticed the “fun-size” Butterfinger laying on his desk; it had been hidden by the big black mug.  Glancing over at the glass bowl full of assorted Halloween-sized candy, he saw many other bars identical to the one huddled behind his coffee.  You won’t get away from me-e-e . . .

Image result for fun-size Butterfinger

Amused at the desire-borne moisture in his mouth, he glommed onto the familiar yellow-orange-gold wrapper.  Granger actually licked his lips as he tore the wrapper lengthwise.

Opening the wrapper, he grimaced in disgust.  Really?  Instead of the neat, compact one-by-two-inch chocolate-covered nougat he expected to find, a sharded mess of odd-shaped pieces had fallen onto his black crew-neck tee and khaki pants.

Irritated, he started to grouse about something more to clean up when he suddenly got quiet.

I know people like that, he reasoned.  Brightly packaged, looking like others in The Bowl, like they’ve got it all together–until the wrapper comes off.  Unwrapped, they’re a ragged, jagged collection of misshapen pieces just waiting to fall all over the place.

Yeah, I know people like that.  I’ve been like that.

Image result for people wearing I'm fine masks

As these thoughts jostled each other in his mind, he glanced again at the phrase off the discarded voting flyer:  “Truth In Advertising”.

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Granger’s eyes blurred and his voice thickened as he spoke aloud, a habit of those who spend most of their time alone.  “Oh, yeah.  Many’s the time that, had my wrapper torn, all my hidden insecurities, my personal misgivings, self-doubt, all those questions about myself would be laying all over in a huge, untidy mess just like–here he made a rueful face as he surveyed the slightly-sticky, sweet mess he’d dumped on his clothes– “my ill-fated little candy bar buddy, may it rest in pieces.”

Image result for Community Golden Caramel coffee

Later, wearing a comfortable black-and-red shirt with the sleeves rolled half up and a soft pair of old jeans, he stood with mug in left hand and coffee carafe in right, thinking about the recent experience.  Shaking his head as if to wake up, Granger poured a fresh, fragrant cup of Community Golden Caramel, returned to his desk chair and sat pondering.

Is it wrong to present a public appearance that’s attractive, appropriate to one’s task?  Does that not reflect good self-image and -respect?

Is it deceptive to present an outward persona that’s positive and uplifting, even when one’s interior landscape more resembles a barren wasteland?  As a Christ-follower, isn’t being winsome and attractive kind of necessary?

Sipping thoughtfully at the semi-sweet, smooth coffee, he answered his own question.

Deception is willful.  Wearing a mask is intended to hide, to frustrate and conceal.  If those are the reasons for the wrapper, then the advertising is dishonest and disingenuous.

Image result for Christ Like spirit despite internal pain

Image result for Christ Like spirit despite internal pain

If one’s desire is to be a consistent positive, encouraging and Christlike witness to one’s own world, then God can be trusted to know how to tenderly deal with the internal brokenness.  To fit the nonfitting.  To create beauty and symmetry just as perfectly as He did at The Original Event.

Rising to refill his mug, Granger thoughtfully nabbed another of the sweet, chocolaty morsels from the Halloween bowl.  Grinning as he softly checked that this one was whole, he admitted to himself, I don’t have this here “for the kids” since none ever come up here.  I have this here for me.  And I’m lovin’ it!

Butterfinger?

© D. Dean Boone, October 2016

 

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100-Word Stroll, 10/21/17: WHAT IS IT ABOUT “BY FAITH” YOU DON’T GET?

Naturalist and author Edward Abbey wrote, “Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.”

Image result for coffee and sneering

No, it doesn’t.  It confirms it!

Reformation Day this year is Tuesday, October 31st.  What sparked the fire in Martin Luther’s soul, back in 1517, was when he read the prophet Habakkuk’s statement:  “The righteous will live by his faith” (2:4).

To accomplish anything in this life requires belief that ranges out ahead of what you can now see.  Yeah.  Faith!  Believing in what hasn’t yet happened requires imagination.  That’s why God issued it to you.  Image result for imagination gifs

You’ve heard without faith it’s impossible to please God.  Right?

Without faith – focused use of your God-created imagination – it’s impossible to even please yourself.

Don’t trash your imagination just because some guy sneered at it.  God gave it to you for a reason.

Think about it.

Use it.

© D. Dean Boone, October 2017     

 

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2nd Cup of Coffee for 10/19/17: 4 WAYS TO PUT SOME PUNCH IN YOUR LOVE LIFE

Readers make the best writers.  I’ve read that.

Image result for coffee and readingWhen you read a lot of the good, challenging, uplifting kind of stuff, you can’t help being helped by it.

I read this morning:

“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13, The Message

“In the end, only three things matter:  how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you” ~ Unknown

“Conviction and Comfort don’t even live on the same block.” ~ a very wise grandmother

Nope.  This post isn’t salacious.  It’s to help you lift the bar high – way high – on this matter of love.  Loving extravagantly never has meant excusing Wrong, liking everything and everyone, and tolerating Evil.  Nor has it meant not supporting what’s right.  “Love” never has meant “You agree with everything I do, say, or believe”.

I promised you 4 WAYS TO PUT SOME PUNCH IN YOUR LOVE LIFE.

  1. Image result for coffee and readingEXAMINE how much you love.  Your pattern is Jesus.  Quit getting sidetracked by looking around you; no matter how much you like them, no human will ever love in sufficient power, reach, and beauty as Jesus does.  You want love defined?  Read the Bible cover to cover.  Yeah, all of it.
  2. EXPLORE how gently you’re living.  Again, your pattern is Jesus.  Spend time in the Gospels and the first few verses of Acts 1.  Jesus was never mean, nor mean-spirited.  Never afraid to confront Evil and evil persons, Jesus was nevertheless a gentle man in the way he lived.  He respected and listened to his dad and mom.  Though fearless in pointing out religious and political hypocrisy, Jesus showed and taught respect and appreciation for both the Church of His day and the few political leaders who were true statesmen.  He also showed the gentlest of love for all He met.  Again, go back and study the true definition of ‘gentle’.  Some of the fiercest warriors I know are some of the gentlest-living people I’ve ever met.Image result for one man's journey
  3. EMBRACE who and where God’s shown you you’re supposed to be, and what He needs for you to be doing.  Even though it put Him out on the edge of Reason, Jesus looked God in the eye and said, “Your plan, Your will.”  The only people who say walking with God is simple, or, even sillier, a weakling’s way out, are those who either have never done it at all, or tried it and suddenly realized they’d rather see what’s behind Door #2.  To grudgingly let go of something God says isn’t good for you isn’t letting go, is it?  To step through and beyond God’s open door for you with grace shows spiritual maturity, and it will just keep growing.  It’s not just God’s grace that’s amazing.  He means for yours to be as well.

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  4. EXERCISE your conviction.  Think, speak, and walk daily in the core beliefs God revealed to you.  Nobody else’s convictions fit you.  That’s why trying to preach yours to them doesn’t set well.  That’s why listening to theirs and deciding, “Oh, well, those sound more palatable than mine” is lethal to your own faith.  Trying to enjoy comfort and exercise conviction at the same time are nigh onto impossible, unless you know for sure what the latter are, and know when the former are pushing you to ignore the latter.

4 WAYS TO PUT SOME PUNCH IN YOUR LOVE LIFE aren’t glitzy, entertaining or fashionable.  Shoot, sometimes they’re just flat a lot of work.

But they pay off.

Think of people within your orbit whose lives solidly impact yours and impress you.  Ask yourself why.  Then mentally hold them up against these four things.  You’ll find they’re at work doing some or all of them.

Your challenge is to be that kind of person for somebody else around you.

Time’s wastin’.  And they’re watchin’.

© D. Dean Boone, October 2017

 

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QTMs for 10/18/17: LOVERS MAKE THE BEST LEADERS

Read early this morning in a daily devotional:

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“You are able to grow a greater love when you lay down your agenda in prayer and pick it up by faith and in love. Beware of ignoring thoughtful questions from the wise and becoming a fool by thinking you have all the answers. A greater love gives up control for the greater good of faithful friends.”

Don’t kid yourself.  We’ve all made pleasant with serene, gracious smiles while privately believing ourselves to be brighter and sharper and more talented than anyone around us.

You’ve looked around, seeing the same people being picked and pressed into multiple roles.  You’ve thought, “No way can they be the best we have at that many things.  And who’s going unused in all of it?  Why are gifts and talents being wasted?”  Good men and women get tired.  Disappointed.  Discouraged.

I get it.  Good leaders size up their available team and quickly decide who’ll step up.  Having set that mental template, it’s just easier to

 

  • go with the flow
  • not rock the boat
  • dance with who ya brung

People are sharper than you think.  They know when they’re being overlooked.

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Leaders have their agendas, too.  They’re no easier to lay down than yours or mine.  It’s just simpler to recycle the same people than be on the hunt for new talent and develop it.  And yet Jesus said there’s no higher indication of His love than to lay ‘me’ and ‘my’ down in favor of others.

Laying down your agenda, spreading it out before God’s perfect Timeless eye, is humbling.  There’s a big difference between, “Now, God, here’s my plan . . .” and “Okay, Lord–what’s YOUR plan, what part do you want me to play, and who else do You want on this team?”                                                                                                                              https://teamgantt.com

And the waiting?  Oh, the waiting . . .

“Oh, oKAY-uh!  My agenda.  Right there.  On the floor!  Okay?”

Right.  But that’s only half the equation.  There’s the follow-through of picking it up, by faith and in love toward all concerned, after God’s finished reworking it.

It really is a matter of control.

And God’s the only one who ought to be getting His way in everything we’re doing.

© D. Dean Boone, October 2017

 

 

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2nd Cup of Coffee, 10/17/17: IT MEMES TO ME

This is a popular message, yet it doesn’t go quite far enough.  This well-meant, focused relationship only keeps working if that level of concern is received.  A gift is meaningless if the one honored won’t open it.
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Can half a relationship survive?  Yes, because God’s been modeling that before us our entire lives.  Two things accrue, however.
 
First, you and I are human.  Our love, unselfishly poured out again and again with little or no return interest, may remain by sheer will and dogged grit, but it is a weak shadow of what would happen if the one being made to smile, being often checked up on, received that care and chose to return it. 
Next, it is a rare human love and friendship that endures indefinitely while being shunned.  Eventually, even the most determined love will accept it’s really not wanted and will go away.  The body will remain, but the spirit will have flown.   Some will do so in drama and maxed volume so the entire neighborhood knows it, while others quietly recede and move on.  Either way, you can feel it.  Something’s changed.  As an old evangelist used to say, “It’s gone, and it won’t be back.”
 
Should you be so blessed to be the recipient of this meme’s level of devotion and esteem, do as directed.  Hold on.  It’s a rare thing to find in this life, and another may not come along.

There’ll be an emotional moat there you’ll never be able to cross.


If you have for whatever reason discouraged that person ?  Know this.  That individual may choose to continue exercising your relationship, but it will never again be the fun, hopeful, devoted thing you were used to seeing and sensing from them.  They’ll be proper, even solicitous, around you, but there’ll be an emotional moat there you’ll never be able to cross.  They’ll always be guarding who they really are around you.  Where once you were welcomed, you’ll now stand knocking.
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Those scars take a long time to heal, and never do completely go away.  The ‘exercising’ will exist, but will be forced–as in the difference between , “I get to go to the gym!” and, “I gotta go to the gym . . .”  Something else to consider:  like the cat taught to never sit on a hot stove again, that person won’t bug you any more with such close care and concern–but the chances are better than good they’ll not ever offer it or themselves to anyone else, either.
 
As the meme puts it, “Don’t take them for granted.  People like them are hard to find.” 
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
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Granger: 2nd Cup for 10/16/17 – HE CAN BE A REAL CHARACTER

Good morning, 2nd Cup friend.  I’m Granger.  Dan’s my best and closest friend, my, ah, alter-ego; and there’s a good reason for that.

Image result for coffee and writingI’m his principal character about and through whom he often writes.  No one knows me like him.  No one knows him like me.  It’s because of this uncanny symbiosis between us that you know me so well:  what I wear, the things I like to eat, places I go and how I get there, even my thought processes–how I reflect on and process things.

It’s this shared love and respect between writer and character that makes me step out of the screen, set down my black-and-green oversized “Coffee made me do it” mug full of fresh mocha caramel java, hold out my big, work-hardened, scarred hand, and shake yours.  It’s what lets my green eyes look into yours, seeing the complex dance of emotions there, and letting you sense my own.

It – he – is the force which makes me come alive, and invite you into my world.  It doesn’t happen by chance.  Dan’s been at this awhile.  He’s an avid reader, like most excellent writers; he’s been studying different styles all that time, choosing the ones he’s felt best fit what is flowing through his mind and spirit.

When you read a short paragraph and catch yourself sitting, staring into middle space and thinking, “I feel like I’m right there”?  He’s put hours into it.  Sometimes even I get bored and play WordSearch or something until he thinks he’s getting it right.  Dan puts a lot into making you feel what I’m feeling, making you see what I see.  He wants you to be welcome here, so that whenever you see my name, connected with his byline, you kind of settle in with your coffee, thinking, “Oh, I like this guy.  I know where he lives and I enjoy visiting there.”

Others share our imaginary locale.  Arlough, the laser-minded MENSA dropout whose engineer’s mind is often funny bordering on crazed, yet rarely in neutral.  Occasionally you’ll encounter Raven Wing, American Indian MSW whose keen analytical, intuition ghosts through Granger’s world, leaving in her wake dry, sarcastic wisdom and an intense loathing of hypocrisy.  Often you’ll find Deputy Sheriff ‘Sparks’ Dickerson helping himself to Granger’s coffee.  The young decorated warfighter is a recent Christ-follower whose clear sense of justice causes him to struggle with how to confront Evil while growing in his faith.

“So, Granger–your experiences, your thoughts seem to have a weird spiritual connection.  You draw me into your world, make me see through your eyes, and feel the way you do.  They keep me coming back, looking for more.  I’d love to read more about you, get to know you better.  You and your world fascinate me.”

You’ll have to take that up with Dan.  He’s the author, remember.  I exist only in his mind, heart and spirit.  Though I and my Granger cohorts are based on very real people, situations, life experiences and journeys, we are all fictional.

Much of what Dan writes is non-fiction, meant to lift, encour—well, you know.  If you appreciate his fiction and his uncommon writing style, tell him.  Let him know, and spread the word to others you know would like his work.Image result for fictional character gifs

I can’t.

I’m a fictional character.

© D. Dean Boone, October 2017

https://www.bing.com/images/searchq=Jay+and+Silent+Bob+Fictional+Characters&id=D5D03EF59EA14D199A9DD579DD3005EC9F4BF22C&FORM=IDBQDM

 

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QTMs for 10/14/17: THROUGH = HUMBLE

Given a choice?  I’ll take OVER OR AROUND for $400, Alex.

Image result for The Struggle Is Real but So Is God Coffee Cup

I’ve been through.

I know the wisdom of acceding to God’s timing and will in leading me through things in this life.  I’ve lived long enough I do NOT go hunting for more through.  If it’s all the same to the Lord, I’m through with through.

Last Monday evening, we finished up a five week small-group study on Isaiah 6.  While that passage is most known for the prophet’s experience of ‘seeing’ God and living to report it to NewsMax, we were focusing on Isaiah’s ‘through’.

It was not going to be pretty.  Nothing about Isaiah’s preaching ministry would make Osteen glance over the fence.

“Okay, wait.  You want me to preach WHAT?  For HOW LONG?  And what’s this about them being blindfolded blockheads?”

Image result for horshackNyuh-uh.  No multi-thousand seat stunning design from Ecclesiastical Digest.  Christianity Today never called for an interview.  No talented staff to assist.  For Isaiah, the picture wasn’t looking real good.  Our consensus was that, maybe, Isaiah might’ve been wondering if his Horshack imitation was a tad premature.

Saying, “Pick me!  Pick me, God!” meant long decades of slogging service, telling people stuff guaranteed to put their skivvies in a knot.

It also paved the way for God to transmit through Isaiah’s stolid faithfulness the most potent, majestic prophetic words ever recorded about Jesus, Israel’s Messiah.

If THROUGH = HUMBLE, then THROUGH leads UPWARD in ways OVER OR AROUND never will.


If THROUGH = HUMBLE, then THROUGH leads UPWARD in ways OVER OR AROUND never will. 


Takeaways from this 5 weeks?

  • Living an authentic life before God is the way to see Him.  We don’t know how long Isaiah preached whatever God told him to preach, but he’d been at it awhile – five chapters worth – before God ever personally appeared to his man. 
  • When God has something for you to be doing, trust His timing; do not mis-spend time over past failures.  I just read that phrase during quiet time this week.  It’s easy to grieve over pile-ups in the past to the degree God can’t get you focused on what He needs you doing from here on.  God won’t quip; He equips.  Isaiah was seriously distraught at the close encounter of the God kind.  He’d been taught to look at God was to die,  so different is our level of existence from His.  It’s like that old G.I. Joe cartoon always said:  “Now you know–and” (say it with me…) “knowing is half the battle!” 

Image result for Gibbs DiNozzo

  • Everything happening that day was specifically for Isaiah’s benefit.  Think about it:  one of the immense, brilliant spirit beings who lives right next to God Himself took a break from Heaven’s 24/7 P & W jam session just for Isaiah.  He’s part of God’s personal praise team.  Did he NEED to use tongs to take a live coal from the altar?  Why was the altar even in the picture?  Considering who and what he is, this celestial messenger could’ve just approached Isaiah like they do everyone else:  “NO-NO-NO.  Settle down.  DON’T be afraid.”  Touch Isaiah’s lips, give him a DiNozzo on the back of the head, and give him his mission brief.  Why all the imagery?  FOR ISAIAH’S BENEFIT. 
  • God knew what Isaiah’s THROUGH was going to look like, so He offered his man the sparkling gem of HOPE.  Israel’s future looked grim because it was.  God had put up with His people’s willful impudence until He knew it was time to step in.  He also knew the mission He was giving to Isaiah would get him beaten, cussed at and have vile, smelly stuff thrown at him.  God told Isaiah several times what the longsuffering prophet then told verbatim to Israel:  “I WILL BE WITH YOU.”  And He was, both with Isaiah and Israel.  And God told Isaiah:  “DO NOT BE AFRAID, FOR I HAVE RANSOMED YOU.  I HAVE CALLED YOU BY NAME; YOU ARE MINE.  WHEN YOU GO THROUGH DEEP WATERS AND GREAT TROUBLE, I WILL BE WITH YOU.  WHEN YOU GO THROUGH RIVERS OF GREAT DIFFICULTY, YOU WILL NOT DROWN!  WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THE FIRE OF DEPRESSION, YOU WILL NOT BE BURNED UP; THE FLAMES WILL NOT CONSUME YOU.  FOR I AM THE LORD, YOUR GOD, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, YOUR SAVIOR.” (Chapter 43)

I know our picture of grizzled old prophet Isaiah is of a John Wayne-type of character.  He’d just about have to be.

It’s also one of a humble-spirited man who knows – knows – none of it has been of his own volition or intellect.  While accepting thanks for his faithful service and long ministry, Isaiah in deep humility immediately swings around, pointing with both hands Heavenward and saying, “GOD, IT’S ALL YOU!”

There’s a lesson there.  THROUGH is the way to HUMILITY and continuing usefulness to the Master.

© D. Dean Boone, October 2017

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2nd Cup PSA for 10/12/17: I REALLY DO PUNCTUATE AND DIVIDE

What you’re seeing published on Facebook is not appearing as I’ve typed it.

 

Image result for coffee and determination

Whether something glitchy on WordPress’s writing page, or a FB quirk, the articles I work diligently to make readable are seemingly coming to you crammed together as if I were a fledgling writer.  For that I’m sorry.

 

What I write means more to me than to give a cursory glance and mash PUBLISH.  I spend hours praying over, preparing, and editing anything I send out.  I write in short paragraphs, altering sentence length, and adding color and appropriate pictures.

Image result for coffee and determination

 

This muddling everything together was happening in the past, and suddenly stopped.  This made me wonder if there were other causes, whether intentional or oversight.

 

I will keep doing what I do, and working hard to achieve writing excellence as I do it.  It’s my prayer this all is temporary; that it means enough to you that you’ll overlook whatever, or whoever, is causing this.

 

Thank you.

 

As always, I love you and I believe in you.

 

Dan

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QTMs for 10/11/17: DARE TO DARE; IT’S NOT SO CROWDED

Image result for coffee and passion
IF YOU DON’T ASK, THE ANSWER’S ALWAYS NO; IF YOU DON’T GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT, YOU’LL NEVER HAVE IT; AND IF YOU DON’T STEP FORWARD, YOU’RE ALWAYS GOING TO BE IN THE SAME PLACE.
     “I’ve read that before.”
Me, too.  Plenty of times.  The first 37 it didn’t stick.  It’s the kind of unpleasant, elbow-in-the-rib stuff that grows on you.
And should.
You’re the same way.  You know for every true doer, there are 99 talkers.  They’re like remoras on a Great White.  Saying all the right phrases and buzzwords, they’re devoid of passion.  There’s no fire, yet they’re willing to hang on forever and ever, amen.  They make the testimony of the doers a thousand times tougher to penetrate our cynicism and derision.  Seen and heard it all before.

Show me your string of fish and I’ll change my bait.


Go ahead, ace.  Motivate me.  I want you to.  I’ve seen “Fake-it-’til-you-make-it” splatter until I’m ready to hork on somebody’s Crocs.  We both know you can’t afford to look and act like you’re trying to.  You talk a good line.  I know honesty and class when I see it.  You ain’t it.
Image result for Skeptical Baby Meme
“Show me your string of fish and I’ll change my bait.”  Right?
Okay.  I understand your instinctive mistrust of any fast- and smooth-talking type dressed in a jacket looking like the seat cover of an aging Peugeot–or the ninnies who’ll dress like anything currently popular, act the fool, and yell at you from your device.   I’m with you.  I’ve sat and observed all the remoras I can stomach, both in and out of the Church.  As an Intuitive, I can almost always pick ’em out.  Even the stealth ones.
     “So what’d you do about it?”
I chose to rise from that disillusionment and focus on the few who are authentic doers.  I respond to those who choose to believe in me as I am now, and in who God’s intending me to be becoming.  Those are the doers.  There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re pure gold.
Here’s the thing.
Image result for dream big gifshttp://peng0503.blogspot.com/
If you’re not dreaming BIG, then why bother?  Sit back, shrug and stay where you’ve been.  Hope for something or other to come your way while you play it safe and exist.  Stick within your comfort zone.  Don’t dare to dare.
 
Believe me; I know what it’s like to sit, stunned and huddled, wondering, “What’s happening?  What’s next?  When’s this going to stop?”  I get it.  I’ve been there, and I’m not poking at you if you are.
 
Just don’t expect me to stay there with you.  I’m with Paul, man:  “Forgetting what’s behind, I press on . . .”  Me, too!  Yeah, life’s knocked me down a few times.  Sure, it hurts for a little while.  But sitting and whimpering gets blown out of the saddle by getting back up, looking around for another door slightly open, and heading toward it.
 
As long as there’s life in me, I’ll keep working at what I believe God’s laid before me to be and do.  I’ll walk through any door He leaves open, trusting Him to shut it if that’s not the right path for me.  “But you’re not—  You can’t—  You don’t have—”  All true. 
 
BUT LOOK AT WHAT I DO HAVE.  LOOK AT WHAT’S LEFT!  😎  I’m on the hunt for what I *can* do–and I’m not fretting about how it’s going to happen, where I’ll get the stamina and energy, or how long I can stay at it.  That’s God’s part of this thing.  Mine is to shut up, get up, and show up for duty.  “The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.”  (Paul, 1 Corinthians 4:20
Remember what James said?  “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything?  Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? . . . . Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (2:14-17)

I’m daring to dare.  I’m trusting God to care for the details.

Try it.  What is there to lose?
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
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2nd Cup for 10/10/17: MAN UP! SOMEBODY’S PRAYING FOR YOU

You can do more after you’ve prayed, but you won’t get much that’s worth anything done until you’ve prayed.
I am praying for my sons, grandson and great-grandson today. 
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My legacy to each of you:  to faithfully pray for those who look to your spiritual leadership.  I don’t expect perfection from you because I haven’t been able to live it before you.  As a recovering perfectionist, I couldn’t do it.  I guarantee you can’t, either.  Your salvation is through Jesus Christ, not your own efforts.
I do expect you to keep short accounts with God.  I do expect and pray for your best efforts in being the overcomer God says you can be.  When you mess up, get it squared away and get back in the fight.  The Bible’s got everything you need to help you do that.
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The day will come when my chair at the table will be vacant.  I expect the next in line to pick up that battle-stained banner of faith, step to the head of the family line, and take up the sacred responsibility of interceding for the boys of this clan who follow you.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can shirk praying until your butt’s in a serious sling, and then with your last bit of strength, discus an emergency prayer in Heaven’s general direction, expecting God to throw the Universe in ‘N’ and fix whatever you just got yourself into.
 
Not all of the men in this family have chosen, or will choose to serve God, for doing so is a choice.  I don’t plan to make it easy for any of you to tell God, “No”, for I pray for every man and boy who’s part of my family.  I don’t want for one of you to be lost.  It’s why I spend time each morning using prayer’s search beam to scan across every male attached to my family.
Image result for Men Pray
I say again:  my ongoing legacy to each of you is the example of a man who knows there’s no greater power than to unleash God’s immense resources – and the Holy Spirit’s convicting power – into the lives of the younger men who are following you. 
 
I read a devotional this morning about a guy who mentors fathers – dads – to think about their families in terms of 200 years. 
All things being equal, you’ll all outlive me here.  Though I plan on not heading Home ANY time soon, I intend for you to know my colors are clear, my faith isn’t faint, my destiny’s Heaven, and I expect to see every one of you there.
The challenge is before you.  It’s up to you what you do with it.
Just be aware:  you’ll never be able to stand before God and say, “I didn’t know . . .”  Because there IS no power, no matter what Hell tries to tell you, that will ever keep your dad’s/granddad’s/great-granddad’s prayers from getting through.
None.
I love you, and I believe in you.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
Categories: Encouragement, Inspirational, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2nd Cup of Coffee for 10/3/17: GROUSING ABOUT LIFE’S PIGEONS

     “Pigeons rate right down there with mosquituhs an’ houseflahs.”
Image result for coffee and park bench
Startled, my eyes snapped back into focus.  You know how your eyes get when you’re looking in your mind’s rearview mirror, expanded to see wide but not specific?  That’s what I’d been doing.  I’d been walking, carrying a rare commodity for me:  a caramel mocha latte made by a real, live barista.  I usually stopped into the nearest QuikTrip and made my own, twice as large at a third of the price, thankyouverymuch.
Not this morning.  I’d gotten too warm during the night, woke up with a headache, and was in a rare contrary mood.  So I sucked it up and paid for the overpriced hot drink.
     “Nem?”
Image result for spock
Uncomprehending, I stared with right eyebrow raised.  Spock would applaud.
     “Nem foah lawday?”
Oh.  “Dan.”
     “Damn?”
Slowly.  1…2…3 . . .  “DAN.”
     Excited nod.  “Ah!  Dang!”
Fine.  Whatever.  I stepped back, joining the queue comprised of the condescending twit in pink-and-green sweater vest whose obvious importance was tied to the laptop he stood pecking on one-handed; and the Emo Twins who could’ve been identical except for her mustache.  It was thicker than his.
The stainless steel contraption that would’ve befuddled Rube Goldberg beeped, whirred, went “Slooooshhhh” and “Skhurrrrrreeeeesssh” and “KhoooOAaaaaaahhhh!”  I’m pretty sure ‘barista’ means someone who’s taken classes in how to make those noises with their mouth while dumping the stuff in one’s cup.
“DANG?”  Raising my chin and eyebrows, I accepted the treasured libation she unceremoniously plunked down on the silly little display stand, built up where EVERYONE could see “DANG” scrawled on the cup.  As I stalked past the others, I heard Pink ‘n’ Green snicker.  At least I got mine before you did.  Jerk. 

Image result for Simulated Rock Waterfalls gif
I then did something else I rarely did.  I’d sat down on a park bench where I could listen to the whispering water, chuckling over the stonework of the artificial falls across the walkway.
So I was sitting there, ruminating about how unfair life sometimes gets.  I groused about unreasonable people who can’t – won’t – get along with anyone who dares to think for themselves, and viciously attack those who dare to pose a valid differing opinion.  I carped about yet another Kirby salesman wanting to clean my mattress.  I even murmured and complained about gas going up again, and these–these stupid pigeons!    That’s what I was doing when I heard the scratchy, wizened voice.
http://waterrockhomes.com/
     “Pigeons rate right down there with mosquituhs an’ houseflahs.” 
Whirling around, the only person I saw was a slightly-hunchbacked old woman, homeless from the looks of her, already receding into the distance in that strange, plodding stolidness they all seem to share.  Must be a thing with them.
I agreed with her, but it also dawned on me how petty and ridiculous I was sounding–even to myself.  I began thinking . . .
It’s deceptively easy to grouse about your lousy circumstances.  Simple to ‘escape’ your boring, no-fun existence with mental fantasy gymnastics of how you’d like things to be.  After all, everyone has dreamy ideas about how wonderful their life would be, “if only . . .”  Right?
 
Truth?  Your circumstances are likely some of your own doing.  Want them different?  Do daily things different.  Reset your values.  Realign your expectations.  Retrain yourself.  Stop looking through ‘Worst-Possible’ filters at those around you while glancing within through ‘I’m-Fine’ ones.
 
The circumstances themselves may never fully change.  You will.  And, suddenly, you’ll realize those whom you spent years blaming and criticizing are just as uniquely created, interesting and important as you are.  They simply have their own preferences that don’t always agree with yours.  And they don’t have to.
Image result for coffee shop machines
Learn to look around at the circumstances of others.  You’ll quite often find yours aren’t so tedious, after all.
And it’s okay if you’re still trying to make those coffee shop noises I described.  I did, too, while I was trying to figure out how to write them.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2017
Categories: Common Sense, Encouragement, Humor - Lighten Up, Wisdom | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment